The Holy Hair Grail

Ojon Rare Blend Moisture Rich Cleansing ConditionweThis summer, only your purse stands between you and perfectly glossy, sleek, healthy hair? Why, because Ojon has just launched a wonderful new elixir for the hair, Rare Blend Moisture-Rich Cleansing Conditioner (£18.50; – and it really is the biz for anyone with damaged hair, breakage-prone hair or hair that is difficult to detangle when washing. I fall into that last category, especially since I began using dry shampoos and back-combing to beef up my fine, floppy hair for styling purposes…

A unique blend of oils known for their healing, conditioning, softening and reparative properties, the cleansing conditioner is designed to be generously applied from root to tip either by hand or with a wide-toothed comb, left to penetrate the hair for one to two minutes, then rinsed off. If you have dense hair that is prone to excessive drying, it could be used every day or every second day, and it’s gentle enough to be usable on normal hair two or three times a week or on alternate days.

It’s available online now, from the Ojon website or from Boots stores from August.


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Summer Nails

Chanel le Vernis x 2 (3)There’s something for everyone in Chanel’s new quintet of summer nail colours – whether you fancy full-on orange nails or subtle pastel lilac talons. Or both at the same time!

The French beauty house is encouraging Chanel Le Vernis fans to embrace the trend of mixing,  matching and even mis-matching colours for strikingly different looks and effects.

The “Accent Nail” Manicure involves applying  a different colour on the index finger from the other fingers of the hand. Try pairing Eastern Light (a shimmering white) on the index finger nail and any of the other colours on the other fingers, or Pink Tonic on one nail, plus Mirabella on the other nails. OrChanel Le Vernis x 2 Sweet Lilac on its own, and Tutti Frutti on the other nails.

Chanel suggests three twists on the traditional French manicure. The first variation on the “New French Manicure” involves applying Eastern Light to the entire nail and tracing a colour border on the tip of the nail. Or, you can apply colour to the entire nail and trace a white border on the tip with Eastern Light, for a demi-French manicure. Finally, for a reverse French manicure, apply colour to the whole nail and trace a white line on the bottom of the nail.

There are so many possibilities, in fact, that I reckon toe nails will need to be co-opted into the experiments …

* Chanel Le Vernis (£18 each). For stockists, call 020-7493 3836.

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Aveda and The Art of Relaxation

Aveda treatment pic 2If you love having massages, you have to try out the new Aveda Stress Fix massage, which, frankly, should come with an addiction warning. It combines Swedish and deep tissue massage with foot reflexology, and harness the relaxing properties of lavender, lavadin and clary sage so that your mind can drift off while your body’s knots are untangled and soothed out.

I had my first Stress Fix experience at the Aveda Spa at James Dun’s House in Glasgow last week, and was slightly trepidatious after Nicki, my therapist, explained that unlike other Aveda massages which can be tailored to suit the client’s requirements and concerns, this one follows a strict formula designed for optimum results. The main focus, of course, was the upper back – where so much stress is carried – and Nicki did wonders at working out the knots in a way that was thorough and firm but not so much that I didn’t stay awake. Indeed, so relaxing was this massage that I woke myself up with my snoring! Highly recommended – and don’t blame me if you get hooked.

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Copacabana Cool

Clarins Colours of BrazilDon’t be alarmed by the name of Clarins’ summer cosmetics collection – Colours of Brazil. There’s no vivid green or yellow in sight. Instead, the eyeshadow palette at the heart of the collection is a beautiful – and very wearable quartet of shades. The limited edition Colours of Brazil Quartet & Eye Liner Palette Clarins Colours of Brazil palette(£32) comprises a matte taupe, a shimmery gold and a chocolate brown along with a glistening coral and a lapis blue eyeliner for a dash of Brazilian-style va-va boom! The rest of the collection – a limited edition Summer Bronzing Compact (£30) and the highly moisturising new limited edition Lip Balm Crayons (£18 each)-  ain’t bad either … One for all would-be Girls from Ipanema ..

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Complexion Perfection

Chanel Perfection Lumiere VelvetOoh, I haven’t been as excited about a foundation in living memory .. Let’s face it, it’s generally not the sexiest of products; it’s the boring bit before you get on to the proper, fun, face-painting stage of make-up. But I have to say, Chanel’s latest addition to its family of foundations is worth getting excited about. Don’t be put off by its name, Perfection Lumiere Velvet (£33), which might suggest that it’s the foundation equivalent of the matte Rouge Allure Velvet lipsticks. This liquid base actually provides natural-looking, lasting and thorough coverage and comes in a good range of shades, with fair skins well catered for. Oh, and I love its French name. Allez-y – say it: “flouteur”.. Tres sexy, non?!

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True Grace

Nicole - hair 1There are lots of areas in which Grace of Monaco, the new biopic of Grace Kelly/Princess Grace, fails spectacularly and although it reeks of style – as befits a film about the rich and famous in the glamorous 1960s – it doesn’t really have much of Grace Kelly’s distinctive style about it. Nicole Kidman’s princely (don’t think there is a female equivalent) wardrobe is certainly a pleasure to look at, but it’s not a patch on the original, and – it seems – only one or two of the original ensembles are actually recreated.

What they did do rather a nice job on, however, was Princess Grace’s hair (see pic of Kidman as Kelly, above). In the 1960s, the style icon who had been known primarily for her pearls and accessories in during her movie star days, made her repertoire of formal – and increasingly outlandish – up-dos (created by the hair couturier Alexandre de Paris) her trademark. Here are three of the most memorable.  Grace - Hair 1


Grace - hair 2


Grace - hair 3

 * Grace of Monaco is in cinemas now (if you’re not careful!)


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The Creme de la Creme of Relaxation

Aveda Stress Fix imageI doubt a body cream can cure stress but Aveda’s lovely Stress-Fix range certainly does contribute to a feeling of relaxation, and the roll-on oil (Stress-Fix Concentrate) helped calm my nerves during a frenetically busy period, professionally and personally, not long after it was first launched a couple of years ago. Stress-Fix Body Creme (£36) is the latest addition to the collection and looks set to become a staple of the at-home spa regime, to be used after a bath laced with Stress-Fix Soaking Salts.. Like them, it has a predominantly lavender scent. The creme has a rich, but easily absorbed, texture and feels very nourishing. Aveda has devised a couple of rituals to be carried out using the body creme, in order to benefit fully from it.

Body Creme Ritual for Hand and Arm: Apply the body creme to the hand and forearm with long gliding strokes. Massage the palm using circular motions, including the heel of the hand, the centre of the palm and the base of each finger. Extend the arm and position the hand palm down. Starting at the outer wrist and moving toward the elbow, massage the oustide of the forearm using gentle, kneading motions. Turn the forearm over and position the hand palm up. Starting at the inner wrist and moving toward the elbow, massage the inside of the forearm using gentle, kneading motions. Repeat on the other hand and arm.

Body Creme Ritual for the Body: After showering, massage Stress-Fix Body Creme into the hands and hold them under your nose while taking a deep breath. Massage tense areas such as the neck, shoulders and forearms using the Ayurvedic technique of circular motions at the joints and back-and-forth ones between them. Apply to the abdomen with circular clockwise motions.

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